Brazil has been integral to the growth of mixed martial arts. Maybe no other country has supplied the world with as many important fighters or combat styles. Which means, of course, the biggest company in the MMA landscape, the UFC, pays plenty of respect to Brazil with huge events held in the nation.
These events are always stacked with Brazilians fighters and often feature at least one Brazil-born combatant in every single affair on a card. It is no different for the upcoming UFC 212, which is being held in Rio de Janeiro. Of the 12 fights scheduled for the card, there is a Brazilian in every single bout.
The sport of MMA is a phenomenon in the country of Brazil. And with such a fervent crowd cheering on their native fighters, one must wonder; do Brazilian fighters rise to the occasion or fold under the pressure?
The UFC has held 27 events in Brazil with 237 fights pitting homegrown talent against a foreigner. In those bouts, the Brazilian fighters have gone 152-85 SU – that’s a 64.1 percent victory rate.
Obviously, there are a lot of factors that play into the above numbers. Foreign fighters are flying to a country far from their own in front of hostile crowds. And to be quite frank, a lot of these fighters are booked to lose. The UFC doesn’t want to go into a business hotbed like Brazil and book all of their national fighters in tough matches. Don’t get me wrong, when you get to the main card, the fights are usually booked pretty tight but when you get to the curtain jerker you want to get the home fans excited for the night ahead.
Let’s take recent history as an example. The UFC has held four events in Brazil since the start of 2016. Of the 20 undercard fights in that span to feature a Brazilian vs a non-Brazilian, the local fighters have gone 14-6 (70 percent).
A lot of these fighters are going to be laying plenty of chalk. It’s just the nature of the beast but if you bet $100 on each of the above 20 fights, you would be up $374.73. That’s not the sexiest way to bet I know but of those 14 winners only four were plus-money underdogs and only one was larger than +125.
At UFC 212, there are six undercard fights that feature Brazilians vs non-Brazilian fights and only one of those fighters (Johnny Eduardo) is an underdog. Three of the homegrown talents are favorites of -250 or higher. But, theoretically, if you bet all $100 on all six of these fights and the overall 64.1 percent success rate continues (we will round up to four victories and two losses), you could be up as much as $156. And out of all the potential combinations, only two would have you losing money.
All and all, Brazilian fighters tend to win in Brazil. It shouldn’t be that much of a shock all things considered. Nonetheless, we now know for sure that Brazillian fighters step up in front of their family and friends.
*All calculations based on betting lines as of June 1, 2017.